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Published on 20 September 2011

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Nitric oxide ‘beneficial for statin-induced myopathy’

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NicOx S.A. has announced that new preclinical results obtained with NCX 6560 were presented at the European Muscle Conference in Berlin, the annual meeting of the European Society for Muscle Research.

NCX 6560 is an innovative nitric oxide (NO)-donating atorvastatin, which has previously completed a successful phase 1b study, including a preliminary evaluation of its cholesterol-lowering effect in subjects with high LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein)-cholesterol.

NicOx is currently evaluating select cardiovascular indications for NCX 6560 where NO donation may bring the greatest therapeutic benefits.

Statins are commonly used for lowering abnormally raised cholesterol but are associated with side effects, including skeletal muscle adverse events such as pain and weakness.

Observational studies estimate that 10-15% of statin users experience muscle-related adverse events, known as statin-induced myopathy, which may lead them to discontinue the treatment.

This is a significant problem for patients at high risk of cardiovascular events who need to maintain efficacious lipid-lowering therapy.

The study presented at the European Muscle Conference assessed the effects of atorvastatin, a reference statin, and NCX 6560 on muscle function in a preclinical model.

In this model, atorvastatin affected muscle function and induced muscle fiber atrophy.

NCX 6560, at a dose producing the same plasma level of atorvastatin, did not show these adverse effects, which suggests that NO may have a beneficial effect in preventing statin-induced myopathy.

The abstract has been published in the Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility.



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